FRISCO, Texas – The major moves are done, for the most part.
Sure, talent acquisition is 365 days a year, as the Cowboys’ front office likes to say. But with the 2022 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, the roster that’s about to work through OTAs is the one that will open the season in September, with perhaps one or two exceptions.
That’s an interesting thought, because there are several roles within this team that do not look settled – at least not yet.
Today, we’ll take a look at the kicker position.
What’s The Issue: They do not have a kicker on the roster who has ever played in an NFL game. And while that might change here in the next few weeks as the Cowboys potentially add some other kickers, they still won’t have a ton of experience on the roster. Last year, the Cowboys had a two-time Pro Bowler in Greg Zuerlein, who even hit some big kicks last season, but still had issues with the shorter kicks – missing an NFL-leading six extra points. The Cowboys need more consistency, but at this point, whoever they go with, it’s probably going to be a position of concern until proven otherwise.
Who Can Fix It: Right now, the only kicker on the roster is rookie Jonathan Garibay. The undrafted free agent from Texas Tech is obviously the leader in the clubhouse because he’s the only one here. But still, the Cowboys have high optimism in Garibay, who was a standout at Texas Tech the past two years. Garibay not only made a game-winning 62-yard field goal to beat Iowa State, but he was 15 of 16 on his field goal attempts. Garibay also has a strong leg to be a good kickoff specialist. So, he’ll get the chance to win the job, but like any kicker, he’s got to make his kicks.
Outside Considerations: With this position, there are always outside considerations, given the nature of the job and how easily kickers can be brought in to kick. It does not matter the situation, if a kicker struggles mightily, he can be replaced immediately. So the Cowboys probably have a short list of kickers right now they can sign off the street. Some of them probably have been here before so the team is comfortable with them.
Best Guess: The Cowboys will probably sign another kicker this offseason, and maybe one who can also handle some punting duties as well to give Bryan Anger a break. But the idea is to let Garibay get most of the reps to see if he can be the guy. If we get to the end of camp and the Cowboys still aren’t convinced, then they’ll probably have a close eye on the waiver wire to see which kickers get released before the start of the season. But Garibay is going to get the chance to prove himself.